Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Buckinghams Inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame

Kent Kotal scooped the media today in announcing the latest news from John Rook, legendary national record program director and cofounder of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. The Buckinghams are among "the sixty-four recording stars who have been inducted into the 2009 Hit Parade Hall of Fame." Formed in 2006, the organization is considered a prestigious, if not refreshing, alternative to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nominees for this honor are made by a powerful array of industry professionals. Fans then have an opportunity to cast their votes for "recording stars who have had two or more top ten hits in the '50s, '60s or '70s."

It was the vote of fans and the decision of the
Nominating Committee that the following recording artists are inducted for 2009:

America, the Ames Brothers, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass,
Louis Armstrong, Frankie Avalon, Brook Benton,
Buckinghams, Glen Campbell, Chordettes,
Petula Clark, Sam Cooke, Dave Clark Five,
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Buddy Holly & the Crickets,
Sammy Davis, Jr., Doors, Drifters, Tommy Edwards,
5th Dimension, Eddie Fisher, Fleetwood Mac,
Johnny Horton, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Four Aces,
Four Lads, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Lesley Gore,
Michael Jackson & the Jackson Five, Joni James, Sonny James,
Billy Joel, George Jones, Kitty Kallen,
KC & the Sunshine Band, Andy Kim, Carole King,
Gladys Knight & the Pips, Little Richard, Barry Manilow,
Al Martino, Mamas & The Papas, McGuire Sisters,
Les Paul & Mary Ford, Peter, Paul & Mary, Gene Pitney,
Platters, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, Helen Reddy,
Marty Robbins, Rolling Stones, Jimmie Rodgers,
Bobby Rydell, Del Shannon, Simon & Garfunkel,
Jo Stafford, Barbra Streisand, Temptations,
Three Dog Night, Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton,
Dionne Warwick and Andy Williams

..."among the largest group of inductees of any given year since the formation of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2006."

Once nominated, recording stars who have had two or more top ten hits
in the '50s, '60s or '70s have three years in which to be inducted
into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Each January, inductees of the past year are announced with the new nominees for the New Year in the second week of February.

John Rook, creator of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame said, “in announcing this, the largest class of inductees to the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, the nominating committee attempted to pay tribute to many recording stars who are long overdue the recognition they so richly deserve.”

The nominating committee includes producer Shelby Singleton, music label executive Joe Smith, the late programming expert, Bill Drake, TV dance show host, Clay Cole, record label executive Barney Ales, radio exec John Gehron (the man who is partially responsible for The Buckinghams' 1980 ChicagoFest reunion concert at Navy Pier), Jerry Osborne, syndicated columnist and music publisher, broadcast exec Allen Shar, on-air radio personality Mike Harvey, personal manager and producer Michael Glynn, Music editor and A&R director Ira Howard, Los Angeles TV host and radio talent Sonny Melendrez, radio programmer Bill Young, entertainment executive Jerry Sharell, radio personality and TV host Wink Martindale (to be heard regularly on Hit Parade Radio later this spring), record promotions exec Steve Resnik, Canada's own radio programming director Red Robinson, media consultant Michael Sigman, DJ/actor Gary Theroux, recording executive Bob Fead, "Inside Radio's founder Jerry Del Colliano, record exec John Rosica, intellectual property executive Jim Long, record producer Michael Lloyd, radio programmming chief Ed Salamon, Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Kent Burkhart, radio station owner Pat O'Day, broadcaster George Klein, "Radio and Records" CEO and Publisher Erica Farber, label president and Grammy-winning producer Steve Popovich, label exec Russ Regan, label exec and talent promoter Ron Alexenburg, broadcast exec George Wilson, the voice of nighttime radio talk, Rollye James, DJ and publishing account executive Jason Rook, and Hit Parade Hall of Fame cofounders, John Rook and Gil Bateman, who launched this initiative in 2006.

For more on the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, visit and for more on the dynamic debut of Hit Parade Radio later this year, visit: and check out Larry Lujack and Wink Martindale as on-air talent.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chicago Daily Herald Previews Salute to the 60s Concert Weekend, Jan. 29, 30-Genesee Theatre/Star Plaza, w/Herman's Hermits, Grass Roots

Story in Today's Chicago Daily Herald is a concert preview for two shows this coming weekend. Full story link at:

Herman's Hermits, Buckinghams set to salute the '60s
By Gregory Harutunian | Daily Herald Correspondent

The Buckinghams still draw fans to hear "Kind of a Drag" and other hits from the '60s.
Peter Noone says Herman's Hermits will tailor its Waukegan show to the audience.
Published: 1/28/2010 12:01 AM

Sparked by Beatlemania, 1964 marked the start of the "British Invasion" on the American music scene, and prompted the formation of many stateside bands to meet the challenge.

Prime examples of that period hit Waukegan's Genesee Theatre stage at 8 p.m. Friday for a "Salute to the '60s."

The lineup includes British band Herman's Hermits with Peter Noone, The Grass Roots with Rob Gill, and The Buckinghams with Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortunato. Far from being classed as nostalgia, it's a rekindling of happy memories for older fans and a showcase for curious youngsters of what it was all about.

"It's not really nostalgia because it keeps renewing itself - I represent a generation, and at my age, there's only a few others left still performing like Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney," said Peter Noone, during a phone conversation. "Iconic? To a younger generation, I try to point out that you can do the same, make the music that's upbeat, enthusiastic, and be different."

Noone maintains an astute global viewpoint on music, and knows why Herman's Hermits racked up numerous top 10 hits in the mid-1960s - among them "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Into Something Good."

The competition "to make it" during that time still has relevancy today.

"The bands that were successful were different from their peers, and identifiable - we chose to be the first British band with songs in our natural accent," said Noone. "The Beatles and Stones were using American accents, when they sang, which is what separated us. You hear Billy Joel on the radio, you immediately know it's Billy Joel; no one sounded like Elton John before him - it's a singular style."

The band will play all its big hits. But with a bag of more than 300 songs, even Noone will be surprised. "We don't have a setlist, and (we) tailor it to the audience, and Waukegan is special. I love the Genesee, the promenade in front - it reminds me of the little English towns and venues we used to play like the London Palladium or the Liverpool Empire."

While British bands were making themselves known across the world, Chicago became a hotbed for regional and national acts with AM radio stations like WLS, WMAQ and WCFL playing and pushing the songs of local acts. The Buckinghams rode the crest, and the early touring days also hold memories of Waukegan for Carl Giammarese, its lead singer and guitarist.

"We played a lot of the clubs there like Dex Card's Wild Goose - " said Giammarese. "I really see myself as blessed, more than 40 years later, to make a living doing something that I love. Never had a real job, just staying in the music business, and with the longevity, I thank God and feel like I'm 40, not 62."

With their own handful of top 10 hits, Giammarese still gets a charge when "Kind of a Drag" comes on the radio. "It's that same excitement from when we heard it on the radio for the first time. I remember times of rehearsing with the band in the basement of our house, and my Dad would say 'your song is on the radio' and we'd all stand around, listening.

"We were pretty busy, basically a covers band, we'd appear on WGN-TV's All Time Hits, and rehearse a lot," he said. "The 'Kind of a Drag' album was our stage act, and (we) recorded all the music in two days and came back to do the vocals. It has that crude garage sound, which added to the charm of it."

The horns on the record were an afterthought "to sweeten the pot," but the fact that Al Kooper claims it inspired him to form his band Blood, Sweat, and Tears is a true legend.

"We still play about 70 dates around the country and our fans make the pilgrimage," Giammarese said. "Each of the bands, on the bill tonight, have their own sound and bring back memories of good times and good people - it's appropriate to call that a blessing."

Salute to the '60s

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29

Where: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan

Tickets: $45 and $75; call (847) 358-9150 or go to

Friday, January 22, 2010

You've Never Heard "Kind of a Drag" until you've heard it on the Ukelele...

Said it before, will say it again. The Internet is a great invention. YouTube is even greater. Where else in the world but the Internet and YouTube could you ever hope to hear a #1 song played on the Ukelele and it actually sounds terrific? Admit it, you think ukelele, your mind races to Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles." Right? But after a viewing of this gentleman, known only as "kharmachanic" it's quite a special rendition. And the talented troubadour has more videos on the Net of other songs, each video hosting a regular cast of characters, including the cockatoo (shades of Baretta) and a cat that answers to either Tiki-Tiki or Aku-Aku.

So, expect the unexpected when you catch this version of a song you only thought you knew:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buffalo Oldies Radio Blog Reminds Us "Kind of a Drag" broke into the Top 40 today, in 1967

On this day in history

A history lesson from "Good Time Oldies Buffalo radio veteran Tom Schuh - the greatest Top 40 hits of the 60s and 70s: Beatles, Brits & Beach Boys; Motown & Memphis and more! Plus "Hall of Fame Hits" from the 50s, and even a few "Modern Oldies" from the 80s."


The Troggs guitarist Chris Britton is 65.

Richie Havens is 69.

In 1957
Filming began on Elvis Presley's movie "Loving You."

In 1961
Elvis Presley signed a five-year movie deal with producer Hal Wallis.

In 1962
Jackie Wilson performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1965
The Animals had to cancel a show at New York's Apollo Theater when the U.S. Immigration Department refused to allow the group to work at the venue.

The Rolling Stones arrived in Sydney, Australia to begin a tour with Roy Orbison.

The Kinks released the single "Tired of Waiting for You" in the UK.

In 1966
George Harrison married his first wife, actress and model Patti Boyd.

In 1967
The Monkees filmed a concert in Phoenix, Arizona. Highlights were aired on the band's TV series later in the year.

The Velvet Underground with Nico began a week long stint at the Expo '67 in Montreal, Canada.

The Mamas and the Papas' "Words of Love" peaked at number five on the pop singles chart.

The Four Tops' "Standing in the Shadows of Love" peaked at number six on the pop singles chart.

The Four Seasons' "Tell It To The Rain" peaked at number ten on the pop singles chart.

The Buckinghams' "Kind of a Drag" broke into the Top 40.

In 1970
The Rolling Stones' Altamont concert was featured on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine.

In 1972
Loggins and Messina released the album "Sittin' In."

In 1974
Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter invited Bob Dylan to a post-concert party at the governor's mansion at the request of his son, Chip.

In 1978
The soundtrack to the movie "Saturday Night Fever," featuring the music of The Bee Gees, hit number one on the album chart.

Kansas' "Point of No Return" peaked at number 28 on the pop singles chart.

For the rest of the events in subsequent years, check:
Oldies Daysheet: Thursday, January 21

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Buckinghams as Noted Influence on the Band "Checkered Past"

A recent Morris Daily Herald story noted the band, Checkered Past cited contemporary concerts by The Buckinghams as a place where today's college students were familiar with all the music of the popular 60s Chicago band. Event producer Ron Romero decided, after watching audiences at a Buckinghams' concert, that he wanted to form a 60s band. The group Checkered Past performed recently at the Morris Country Club in Grundy County, IL. An excerpt from Jeanne Millsap's Daily Herald story follows:

It only makes sense that guitarist/vocalist Ron Romero started up a band that plays 60s classics.

Music from that era seems to have grown to appeal to every generation, and Romero’s interest in music spans several generations in his own family.

Romero, of Minooka, plays the drums and guitar, and he sings. His older brother is an accomplished guitarist and organist; his father played trumpet in jazz bands; and his grandmother played piano, classical guitar, the mandolin, and other instruments.

“And she didn’t play any of those halfway,” Romero said of his grandmother. “She was quite an accomplished musician.”

Romero remembers getting his first drum kit when he was only four years old. He learned to play by just winging it. Later on, his brother Rick, who he said has been his greatest musical influence, taught him to play guitar.

Over the past 30 years, Romero has played in several bands. The area musician who has been the most influential for him is John Bednarcik.

Romero used to play blues with them in the 80s and even wrote some songs for their band, The Phones.

One of those original compositions — Undone — was played last week on an area radio station.

Romero picked up on music from the 1960s early on, even though that generation was a bit older than his. His brother and two sisters were older, and that’s the music he was exposed to when he was young.

“Sixties music has always been my thing,” he said. “It’s timeless.”

An event producer by profession, Romero noticed at a Lewis University concert featuring The Buckinghams how many college kids loved the group. They even knew the words to the songs and were singing along.

Involved in bands here and there for the last 30 years, Romero made the decision that night that he should get a 60s band together. It was music he loved, and it was becoming obvious to him that a lot of other people loved it, as well, even the younger generations.

The complete story can be found at:

A Recent Newspaper Tribute Published, Remembering Don Schoenborn, Early Buckinghams' Road Manager

In the earliest days of The Buckinghams' career, they were introduced to many new acquaintances and people were added to their team as the recording artists took to the road. Among their first road managers was a gentleman named Don Schoenborn, also known to the band as "Dano" and his memory is saluted with the reprinting of this Daily Herald story, written in October, 2009, by Eileen O. Daday. An excerpt follows.

Don Schoenborn made the transition most teenage music lovers only dream of: he parlayed his connections at The Cellar teen dance club in Arlington Heights into becoming the road manager for nationally recognized bands.

Mr. Schoenborn passed away on Sunday. The longtime Palatine resident was 67.

Family members say "Dano," as he was called, loved The Cellar and its draw as a local music venue accessible to teens. He had graduated from Palatine High School in 1960 and was not a musician himself, but he loved the sound of rock 'n' roll.

One of the hit bands to come out of The Cellar was the Shadows of Knight, originally formed by Prospect High School students. With its release of "Gloria" in 1965, the single drew lots of regional play on its way to topping the charts.

As the band began touring, Mr. Schoenborn went with them, earning the role of road manager.

"He handled all the business aspects of their tours," his brother, Paul, says, "from the bookings and support systems, to travel arrangements. He was the detail guy."

Mr. Schoenborn later moved to take on the same role with a split-off band, called Bangor Flying Circus, before he hit the big time, serving as road manager for the Buckinghams.

"He was with the band in the beginning, when they had their first two hits, 'Don't You Care,' and 'Kind of a Drag,'" Paul Schoenborn adds. "Those were the songs that put them on the map."

The story story continues at:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Keep Rockin' Magazine has Feature on Carl Bonafede and the Early Days of The Buckinghams, Plus Exclusive New Beatles' Photos

Ever heard of The Screaming Wildman of Chicago Radio?

Carl Bonafede was one of the 'most heard' voices in Chicago on any 50,000 watt station broadcasting across the country. Fast-talking, quick-witted, one-of-a-kind DJ, Bonafede was more than just a DJ.

Carl Bonafede was the manager of The Buckinghams in the 1960s, among several other popular groups of Chicagoland. He and Dan Belloc also co-produced several records on the USA label for The Buckinghams, including the #1 "Kind of a Drag".

The latest issue of Keep Rockin' Magazine has a feature story on Carl Bonafede by Dawn Lee Wakefield, as well as a cover story on never-before-seen photographs of The Beatles, and the story behind them, written by Ian Wright.

Chicago teens will also appreciate a feature by Kenn Petzke "Bandstand Matinee with Jim Lounsbury," with great nostalgic event tickets, bandstand matinee club cards, and a "I am a Jim Lounsbury Fan" pin-on lapel button. It's a great trip back to yesteryear.

To get a copy of the magazine with more on The Buckinghams, Carl Bonafede, The Beatles and more, check out

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Carl Bonafede Web Site Features both The Buckinghams and The Centuries

Carl Bonafede, original manager of The Buckinghams and The Centuries (Carl Giammarese, Nick Fortuna, Gerald Elarde, and Curtis Bachman) features musical memories from The Centuries and The Buckinghams on his web site,

Chicago radio fan favorite commercial track, "Get with the Go Group" that The Buckinghams recorded for Norm Kraus' Grand Spaulding Dodge (Mr. Norm) is included.

Bonafede also produced and managed The Daughters of Eve, the Rail City 5, The Delights, Thee Prophets, among others, and booked bands, including Mickey, Larry & the Exciters, The Lost Souls, Lincoln Park Zoo, Ral Donner, Gene Pitney and more, into clubs across Chicago. If you heard or saw Carl and Nick as part of The Fabulous Centuries or The Buckinghams, anywhere in the Midwest in the early 60s, you saw firsthand the management and production of Carl Bonafede.

Also check out two of Joseph Pytel, Jr's. blogs and learn more about Carl Bonafede's own vocal stylings on USA Records, Cadet, and Impala records, among other labels.

Carl Bonafede is better known to Chicago radio audiences as "The Screaming Wildman" because of his rapid-fire speech and delivery for commercial spots on the air. He also recorded some singles under that name.

The blog addresses are:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blast from the Past--Get with the Go Group, See Mr. Norm, Jingle by The Buckinghams, featured in Kent Kotal's Forgotten Hits

Thanks to WLSClark and Kent Kotal, here is the cover art that goes with The Buckinghams’ jingle for Norm Kraus, also known as Mr. Norm. Carl Bonafede, original manager of The Buckinghams, booked them often at Mr. Norm’s Sport Club for Grand Spaulding Dodge. Mr. Norm gave the band a van in exchange for this jingle that was played across Chicago radio stations.

The LP pictured is full of drag strip stuff at Ubly Dragway. The Buckinghams jingle is 20 seconds that show up on the end and beginning of the LP side which runs a full 13 minutes of drag stuff similar to the Capitol Records series of Lps. Note it sold for $1 then. Now, it would bring $100 probably.

“Get With the Go Group!” by The Buckinghams

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bloggers Start off New Year Noting The Buckinghams in Concert

Rogers Park-based blogger, Toni, showcased The Buckinghams in her first post of the new year, entitled: "Here's to Good Memories," and she links the title to The Bucks' web site, which is greatly appreciated. The blog, 24/7 north of howard watchers, noted how she and her friends and family "went to see The Buckinghams every chance we get." And, Toni and her friends are a major reason that The Buckinghams remain in demand in Chicago and around the country, because of faithful fans who spread the word to others, in blogs, on the phone, e-mails, and by ordering music from The Bucks' web site.

Happy New Year to Toni, the 24/7 north of howard watchers readers, and everyone who enjoys great sounds of 60s music today. Great music will always stand the test of time.

Read the entire blog post at: